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Posts Tagged ‘Tedd Tripp’


Ran across this in my reading this morning.  Great stuff!

“Ecstasy and delight are essential to the believer’s soul and they promote satisfaction.  We are not meant to live without spiritual exhilaration, and the Christian who goes a long time without the experience of heart warming will soon find himself to be tempted to have his emotions satisfied from earthly things and not, as he ought, from the Spirit of God.  The soul is so constituted that is craves fulfillment from things outside itself and will embrace earthly joys for satisfaction when it cannot reach spiritual one … The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savoring the felt comforts of the Savior’s presence.  When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers.”  Maurice Roberts, quoted in Instructing a Child’s Heart, from The Thought of God.

He says the same things as Thomas Chalmers in The Expulsive Power of a Greater Affection, but from a different angle.  Chalmers puts it in terms of sanctification- how we put our sinful desires to death.  Roberts puts it in terms of avoiding spiritual declension and danger.  One for growing in Christ, the other for maintaining spiritual vitality.  If we are not often pursuing our satisfaction, delight, in Christ, we will be in danger of seeking it in earthly things.

Think for a moment of how pervasive it is.  Many church-goers don’t really have a vital relationship with Christ.  It is more pragmatic than dynamic.  So they find themselves drinking from the cesspools of society- wrapped up in the pursuit of wealth, sensuality, power, entertainment etc.

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I’m currently working my way thru Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd & Margy Tripp in my free time.

So far it has been a good book to read: clear & convicting.  That’s why I wanted to read it- to become a more godly parent and learn to build what I never had as a child, a heart schooled in God’s ways.

They use Deuteronomy 6 as their foundational point, which is an important thing.  We must experience it if we are to truly pass it on to our kids.  But they bring other Scriptures into the discussion.

Essential to good, godly parenting is the recognition that the problem is not “out there”, but that our kids have sinful hearts that produce inordinate desires.  They are hardwired to respond to the temptations of the world and the devil.  They are hardwired for selfishness and lovelessness. I am to offer them the gospel, pray with and for them, instruct them in those opportune moments- addressing their hearts, not just their behavior.

“Scores of opportunities evaporate without notice as we hurry through our days thinking that devotional time with our children is enough.  Our responses to the circumstances and crises of everyday life make our theology real.”

What we do have to realize is that devotional times are good, but insufficient.  Our kids must also see us live our faith the rest of the day.  I try to do that- and sometimes I don’t and therefore instruct them with lies instead of truth.  They also remind me that during correction is not the time for formative instruction.  It just won’t sink in- they are too mad or sad to hear what you are saying.  Formative instruction occurs in the more regular moments, not the moments of heightened tension.  Sadly, like many people, I can prefer to relax and miss some of those great opportunities.

“Don’t talk to your children about that which you have spoken little with God.”

My wife is a great example of this.  Me?  Not so much.  It was convicting.  I can forget to pray about their stubbornness, self-centeredness, temper etc.  I really should be spending more time praying for the heart work to go along with the hard work of instruction.  It is the same for ministry- we must pray for the people, not just instruct the people.  So I find some crossover as I think about shepherding God’s people as well (just as I did with Shepherding a Child’s Heart).

So far it is great stuff to help you be a more godly parent in the hopes that God will use those means to change your kids’ hearts through the gospel.

I should say that I don’t agree with everything they write in either book. For instance, allowing a young child to choose clothes for the day does not necessarily teach them autonomy. There is a family context that allows children to grow in decision making in safe ways which can begin early. But these areas of disagreement do not undermine the main points they make.

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